Tesla, Ford, Fiat and GM get green light to reopen plants in Detroit

Losing just two weeks of production cost GM $600 million in cash in the first quarter, and carmakers have been borrowing money to tide them over during a shutdown likely to hurt second-quarter earnings even more.
By : Bloomberg
| Updated on: 08 May 2020, 08:33 AM
California Governor will let manufacturers resume operations starting May 8, while Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer cleared the way for them to reopen from May 11. (AP)
California Governor will let manufacturers resume operations starting May 8, while Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer cleared the way for them to reopen from May 11. (AP)
California Governor will let manufacturers resume operations starting May 8, while Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer cleared the way for them to reopen from May 11. (AP)
California Governor will let manufacturers resume operations starting May 8, while Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer cleared the way for them to reopen from May 11.

Michigan and California’s governors are allowing manufacturers to open up factories in the coming days, delivering a boost to Tesla Inc. and Detroit’s three carmakers.

California Governor Gavin Newsom will let manufacturers resume operations starting Friday, while Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer cleared the way for them to reopen beginning May 11. Ford Motor Co. on Thursday joined General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in scheduling the restart of North American plants for May 18.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward," Whitmer said in a statement. “This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families."

Trending Cars

Find More Cars

Whitmer’s decision clears the way for parts suppliers to start running their assembly lines to support vehicle plants resuming production later this month. Newson’s announcement elicited a cheer from Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who has sharply criticized shutdown orders.

FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on
FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on

Michigan is providing clear guidance for auto companies, component makers and factory workers after weeks of uncertainty about the timing. Most auto output ground to a halt in mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus and brace for a slump in car demand from home-bound consumers.

Losing just two weeks of production cost GM $600 million in cash in the first quarter, and carmakers have been borrowing money to tide them over during a shutdown likely to hurt second-quarter earnings even more.

The United Auto Workers, whose members man the assembly lines at Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler, has resisted earlier efforts to reopen plants. But the union’s president, Rory Gamble, signaled earlier this week the UAW would defer to the manufacturers after participating in meetings with them on safeguarding worker safety.

“The companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come at some point," Gamble said in a statement. “Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be, on health and safety protocols to protect our members."

(Also read: US auto union paves way for factory restart after Fiat reveals reopening plans)

Under Whitmer’s new executive order, manufacturers must implement a series of measures designed to protect workers from Covid-19. These requirements include a daily screening protocol when workers enter plants, including a questionnaire and temperature checks “as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained."

(Also read: Pickup trucks is the new magic word for US carmakers)

They must also create dedicated entry points at every facility and suspend visits by all personnel deemed nonessential such as factory tour guests. Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler already have those protocols in place.

First Published Date: 08 May 2020, 08:33 AM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city